Priming self-construal. Conclusions and reflections from own research

Aleksandra Pilarska


The empirical goal of this article was to examine the effects of self-construal priming on identity processes. The research was conducted in two stages: (a) pilot study (N = 547), whose aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of various priming methods, and (b) main study (N = 45), demonstrating the effects of independent self-construal activation on selected aspects of identity structure and emotional consequences of their violation. The results of the pilot study demonstrated the validity of the use of Scrambled Sentence Task (Kühnen, Hannover, 2000) as a priming method. However, the main study’s results did not confirm the posed hypotheses. The conducted analysis suggests two conclusions. First, the effectiveness of the experimental selfconstrual activation, as well as the range and depth of effects obtained in this way remain problematic. Second, if a particular advantage of experimental manipulations is insight into isolated causal effects of activation of specific processes or states, when stimulating such a complex structure as self we should expect simultaneous effects, whose causal or functional explanation is challenging.


self-construal; priming; identity structure

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